Thu, Jul 16, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Al-Qaeda calls on Pakistanis to join latest jihad

REUTERS AND AP , DUBAI AND ISLAMABAD

Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command accused the US of leading a crusade to turn Pakistan from a Muslim nuclear power into a divided nation and urged Pakistanis to join jihad to resist.

Militants were in a tug-of-war with the US-allied government as they push to make Pakistan a “citadel of Islam” in the region, Ayman al-Zawahri said in a audio recording posted on an al-Qaeda-linked Web site.

“It is the individual duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to join the mujahidin,” Zawahri said. “The crusade aims at eradicating the growing jihad nucleus in order to break up this nuclear capable country, and transform it into tiny fragments, loyal to and dependent on the neo-crusaders.”

Zawahri argued Pakistan was virtually occupied by the US through US-allied politicians and officers who are fighting Islamists’ plans “to establish Pakistan as a political entity standing as a citadel of Islam in the subcontinent.”

“The scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed that if the infidel enemy enters a Muslim country, it is the duty of all of its inhabitants, and when needed their neighbors, to mobilize for Jihad. The Americans are today occupying Afghanistan and Pakistan, so it is the duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to rise up to fight them,” he said.

The Egyptian militant leader described Washington’s allies in Pakistan as a “clique of corrupt politicians and a junta of military officers who are fighting to remain on the American pay list by employing Pakistan’s entire military and all its resources in the American crusade against Islam.”

Meanwhile, Pakistani troops killed six suspected Taliban fighters near the Swat Valley’s main city, the army said yesterday, underscoring the region’s fragile security even as refugees displaced by fighting return home.

Few details were immediately available on the incident in Kabal town, but the military was planning to take local journalists to the scene to show them the bodies. Kabal lies across the river from Mingora, the Swat Valley’s main city, and it was considered a likely hide-out of the Swat Taliban’s leadership.

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